Lar Spends €6M on Renovation of Megapark Barakaldo Shopping Centre

10 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Lar is giving one of its assets a makeover. The Socimi owned by the Lar España group has started work on the complete renovation of the Megapark Barakaldo shopping centre, for the first time since its construction in 2004, which will involve an investment of €6 million, according to a statement issued by the group.

The shopping centre, which is owned by Lar España Real Estate Socimi, has been managed by Neinver since 2016. Neinver, which is directing the renovation work, is one of the leaders in the development and management of outlet centres in Spain and the second largest operator in Europe.

The renovation of Megapark is going to be carried out in two phases. Firstly, work will be undertaken in the retail space; this has already begun, without affecting the daily activity of the centre, and is due to be completed in November 2018. Subsequently, work will begin on the leisure area to modernise and unify its image with the rest of the park.

“During this first phase, the renovation of Megapark Barakaldo’s retail area will be reflected primarily in a more current image, which is going to be accompanied by the renovation of all of the façades, outdoor spaces and common areas”, explain sources at the group. For this, an urbanisation plan has been developed, which includes introducing urban design furniture and children’s areas.

The general remodelling of the centre is also being accompanied by the renovation of some of the retail stores such as those of Mediamarkt, Kiabi, Merkal and Forum, as well as the expansion of the Conforama store by 1,200 m2 to reach 6,200 m2.

Megapark Barakaldo is located fifteen minutes from the centre of Bilbao and is the only retail and leisure area of its kind in a 400 km radius. In 2017, it received more than 10 million visitors and it has a surface area of 128,000 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Itaroa Shopping Centre (Navarra) Goes Up For Sale

15 March 2018 – Expansión

The shopping centre sector is still red hot. After the intense investment activity of last year, which has continued during the first few months of 2018, new assets are still coming onto the market. The latest is Itaroa, a shopping centre located in Huarte (Navarra), which has hung up the for sale sign, according to market sources speaking to Expansión.

The asset, managed by the local property developer Javier Gómez, has a surface area of 42,000 m2 and contains a Hipercor, owned by El Corte Inglés, which would not form part of the sales process. To search for potential buyers, the owner has engaged the consultancy firm Colliers International Spain, formerly Irea.

The vendor is asking around €90 million for the asset. The Itaroa shopping centre is mortgaged to the German financial institution Aareal Bank by way of guarantee for a €71 million loan. The mortgage was constituted in 2003 and has been renewed on several occasions, according to the latest information available from the Mercantile Registry.

Last year, Itaroa launched a renovation of its leisure and restaurant area to expand and improve the offer at the centre with the incorporation of new brands. It spent €4 million on that expansion.

Itaroa’s tenants in the fashion and accessories sectors include brands such as Zara, Sfera, Merkal, Bershka and Décimas. The shopping centre is also home to a Yelmo cinema.

This move comes in addition to the sale of a portfolio by Sonae Sierra and CBRE GI comprising three assets and the sale of the Ballonti centre (Vizcaya). Last year, the investment market for shopping centres reached a volume of around €2.7 billion, thanks to record operations such as the purchase of Xanadú, in Arroyomolinos (Madrid), for €530 million. The investor appetite is expected to continue this year, which has led some owners taking advantage of the situation to divest.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel

Compagnie Secures Financing for Spain’s Largest New Shopping Centre

28 November 2017 – Expansión

Yesterday, the French group Compagnie de Phalsbourg managed to close financing, amounting to €157 million, for its first shopping centre in Spain: the Open Sky centre in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), according to Expansión.

The establishment will have a gross leasable area of 85,000 m2, will house 100 stores, 3,500 parking spaces and a large garden area with a central lake.

To obtain the necessary resources for its project, Compagnie de Phalsbourg has resorted to non-bank financing through a competitive process. Sources close to the operation maintain that a single fund has subscribed 100% of the financing. According to the same sources, it is a fund based in the City of London, specialising in the real estate sector.

“This process is a boost for Spain because it shows that international investors, in this case, French and British players, see potential in Spain”, say financial sources. The crisis in Cataluña has not affected the process in this case, whose negotiations started long before the tension escalated in that regard.

The French group expects that Open Sky will be inaugurated by the end of next year. In fact, the first earth movement work has now begun and the land that Compagnie acquired for €110 million from the Town Hall of Torrejón in 2015 is being prepared (…).

The company has already signed agreements with around twenty fashion labels, accessories brands and service providers, including with many high-profile names such as Adidas, Reebok, Decimas, OVS, Okaidi, Merkal, Kiwoko, Orchestra, RKS, Celio, Encuentro Moda and Druni, amongst others. Moreover, the shopping centre will have 11 Cinesa cinema screens with capacity for 1,200 people and it has already signed agreements with restaurant groups such as the Vips group, with its five brands (Vips, Fridays, Ginos, Wagamama and Starbucks); the Zena group (Fosters and Cañas y Tapas) and the Restalia group (100 Montaditos and La Sureña).

Once Open Sky is fully operational, it is expected to generate approximately 1,000 new jobs in the region.

The Spanish investment boutique Alantra has served as the sole advisor to the operation for the French group. In addition, Alantra has advised the firm on three other projects in Spain. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance and Uría have been responsible for providing legal advice (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Andrés Stumpf)

Translation: Carmel Drake

French Guru To Build Giant Shopping Centre In Torrejón

25 April 2017 – El Confidencial

After four years of negotiations, the French multinational Compagnie de Phalsbourg has received the definitive green light to launch its first project in Spain. And it’s going to be a giant, with a gross leasable area of more than 100,000 m2, which promises to revolutionise the nature of shopping centres in the country.

The project will comprise an Open Sky complex and The Village outlet, two concepts that the French group has decided to combine in the same space for the first time in their history. Last week, the Town Hall of Torrejón de Ardoz granted the construction licence for the former, which had already received its urbanisation permit and, just three weeks ago, ING sold the French company the adjoining plot for the development of the outlet.

With these two milestones under its belt, Compagnie de Phalsbourg has put its foot down on the accelerator to begin construction of Open Sky next month and has already started marketing The Village. The aim of these two parallel lines of action is to inaugurate the complex in time for Christmas 2018 and to bring a new shopping centre concept to Spain, with the architecture taking on a starring role, including vast green spaces and water games.

The project presents a real challenge for this area in the northeast of Madrid, which just a few weeks ago saw the rejection of another major investment that had planned for this area, Cordish’s new Eurovegas, by the President of the Community, Cristina Cifuentes. The French group’s project, on the other hand, has already received the blessing of the local administration, which will allows it to enter and compete at the height of a period of transformation in the sector, following changes of ownership and the relaunch of Plenilunio, Cuadernillos and Alcalá Magna, as well as the upcoming sale of Parque Corredor.

The new Open Sky, designed by the architect Gianni Ranaulo, will be an outdoor shopping centre, with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 80,000 m2, containing 100 stores and 3,500 parking spaces, where numerous fashion houses will sell their wares along a walkway measuring more than 1.5 km The site will also have a navigable central lake, where light and water games will be held.

New giant

50% of the retail space has already been leased to firms such as Merkal, Adidas, Reebok, Soloptical, Kiwoko, Orchestra, Druni and Movistar, and an agreement with the Inditex giant is pending confirmation. (…).

Meanwhile, The Village, an outlet designed in the style of a villa by Philippe Starck, will cover a surface area of 22,000 m2 and will house 120 stores and restaurants, and 1,500 parking spaces. (…).

With these two developments, in which Compagnie de Phalsbourg plans to invest more than €100 million, the French group is beginning its expansion plan in Spain, where it plans to spend more than €500 million launching around half a dozen new projects over the next few years.

Founded in 1989 by Philippe Journo, the French group owns assets amounting to €1,240 million, as well as shopping centres (in operation) covering 600,000 m2, and shopping centres under construction covering 350,000 m2 in France. With rental income of €72 million per year, the company focuses its activity on the development, management and sale of both shopping centres and residential complexes (…).

Original story: El Confidencial

Translation: Carmel Drake

Belgian Fund Ascencio Finalises Purchase Of Parque Abadía

8 November 2016 – Expansión

The Spanish real estate market is starting to welcome new players. After two years during which opportunistic funds and Spanish Socimis have been responsible for the lion’s share of investment operations, 2016 has seen several institutional investors and companies enter the market.

Such is the case of Ascencio. The listed Belgian real estate company (SIR, according to its French acronym), which specialises in well-located commercial assets with first-rate tenants, has decided to place its focus on Spain.

After years focusing on the Belgian market (where 62% of its assets are located) and France (which accounts for 33% of its portfolio), Ascencio arrived in Spain in March with the purchase of three premises in Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, leased to the chain Worten, owned by the Sonae group. In this first operation, Ascencio spent €27.3 million, a figure that it is going to almost triple with its second transaction in Spain, given that the Belgian firm is the favourite to buy the Parque Abadía retail complex in Toledo.

Parque Abadía, which has a surface area of 64,000 m2, is the most important retail establishment in the province. With a retail surface area covering more than 54,000 m2, its main tenants include Alcampo, Decathlon, Media Markt, C&A, Conforama, Kiabi, Merkal and Norauto. Leroy Merlin also operates and owns a store in the complex, which has a surface area of more than 9,000 m2.

Inaugurated in November 2011, the retail complex has 2,680 parking spaces. Last year, Parque Abadía received more than six million visitors, and that figure is expected to be even higher in 2016.

Several investment funds and Socimis have expressed their interest in the property. Nevertheless, Ascencio’s offer, amounting to €80 million, is the best positioned, say sources close to the process.

The vendor is the British fund Rockspring, which has been focusing its investments in Spain on logistics centres in recent months, including the purchase of assets as well as the development of new establishments.

The sale of Parque Abadía is expected to be closed before the end of the year, according to sources in the market. Ascencio currently has funds amounting to €600 million to invest in the three European markets in which it has a presence, and has named Spain as its primary focus.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake